Nilaveli is a small beach resort not far from Trincomali where the area was heavily affected by the 2004 tsunami. Remnants of the destruction were still visible and many people who were affected still live there. We met some really friendly locals, one man we met told us how he climbed up a palm tree for safety and was luckily unscathed during the disaster! Many locals provide homestays for ₹1,500 which included breakfast and an evening meal. We were very fortunate because the mother of the family we stayed with was a fantastic cook and served us the best chicken curry and rice. There were many empty beds and hammocks to relax on the beach and the ocean was crystal clear with calm waves which you could walk out to around 200 - 300 metres!
Pasikuda is very much a local seaside town with many fancy beach side resorts that have crept in and still under construction. Being on a budget we stayed in an off beach bungalow which cost ₹1,600 per night with an outside washroom attached at the back. In terms of things to do it’s just very relaxed and is a great place to mingle with locals. We were invited to join a ball game in the ocean which involved lots of splashing and foreign intrigue but we embraced it and had a lot of fun. On the other more resort beaches it was completely empty because it was off peak season leaving us to pretty much occupy the entire vicinity.
We arrived in Arugam Bay in hope of experiencing our first attempt at surfing as its much cheaper than somewhere like Australia. The two best surf spots were Whisky Point and Peanut Farm. We began at Peanut Farm as this bay had frequent yet gentle waves perfect for newbies. The only disadvantage of surfing there is you need to transport your gear from the main strip in Arugam bay to either of the surfing points. Tuktuk drivers seem to have arrangements with the hire companies to drive people to the bays as they are a fair distance away with no direct route other than a sand trail to follow. We looked into other ways of reaching the bay but there were no public transport options and without a vehicle to carry surf boards we were short of options.
Our instructor was great, he showed us how to jump up onto the board and gave us a push when the waves were coming. I was surprised how easy it was to surf a few waves after only practicing for an hour in the water. I’d expected it to be almost impossible to stand up on the board and gain any decent skills in such a short time but I was proved wrong as I surfed that board into the sand! (not good for the board). Although having said that it was still incredibly difficult to catch the waves at the right time without a push as you need a lot of upper body strength to propel forwards and quickly pop up to catch the wave! Overall it was a hundred percent worth ₹5,000 for the two of us with an instructor for two hours. Other than surfing in Arugam Bay it’s pretty much overcrowded with tourists and restaurants, but the nearby coast its awesome for body boarding as the waves are ferocious!